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Friday, September 30, 2011

Depression feels like…

I want to first of all write to all of you who left me comments and wrote me personal emails encouraging me where I am at and what I am going through. It does help to know I am not alone in this, that some of you have gone through things like this and how you were helped, how you walked through it. What a blessing you are to me in the time that you took out to encourage a person you have never met. I appreciate you all so much.

Thank you to my family and friends who read this who have reached out to me. There is something powerful in knowing someone cares, even when they can’t fix it.
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Maybe some of you have never dealt with this depression issue before. Maybe you think it’s a ploy for attention, maybe you think its all mind over matter, or maybe you just don’t have the slightest clue what it feels like, but want to help those you love who are struggling.

I want to share with you what depression feels like, at least to me.

I’m edgy: I feel like the world is against me, I feel like I might break down if someone looks at me the wrong way, no matter where I am or what I am doing. I took my son to the park this morning to play and accidentally pulled out in front of some guy, immediately making gestures of apology. He of course cursed at me, scowled and drove aggressively past. In one instant I both wanted to follow him into the parking lot and tell him off and cry all at the same time. I did neither and went on to the park.

I’m tired: I feel like I am moving in slow motion, it takes great effort to want to get myself ready. I would love to sleep, but I have a son that does not allow for that.

I’m overwhelmed: everything feels like a huge chore that I really can not do. Everything feels harder than it should.

I feel anxious: anxious about my ability to function, think straight, handle things. Going to the mall with my son gives me very high anxiety. I think he is in this testing, active phase where he wants to throw fits and I already feel so tired. Nothing about going out sounds fun to me. I
 still try and do it, but not as much as I might like.

I’m emotional: if I talk about this stuff at all, or think about it even, I am usually crying.

I’m lonely: I feel like a million thoughts are trapped in and running around in my head that I can not talk about, there are just too many of them. I don’t want to ask people to give me hours of their time to listen to me verbally process my junk, that is just unfair. But then it makes me sad that people can’t or don’t want to. I really want to start seeing a therapist for this very reason.

I’m weak/paralyzed: I have nothing to give, I feel like a blob or nothingness, or like I don’t have muscle or something. I feel like when I sometimes cry to myself at night all I can think to say is “help me”.

I’m needy: I need people, I need them really bad in my life right now. I hate being needy, I am the one that usually help, but I am truly at the end of myself. I used to think that I could choose to be better, and how I have tried, but I can not. I need people who know me especially to speak truth to me and fight for my heart, because I lost it.
I’m lost: I know who I used to be, but I lost her and in her place is some girl/woman who I do not like at all.

I am all these things, and I know what is supposed to work to make you “get better” just DO more of this, just DON’T do that. But there is a difference between knowing what your supposed to do and judging yourself when you either don’t do it or feel like you can’t.

My friend who is a psychologist came over yesterday to help me find a doctor. I now need to go through her referrals and figure out who I should go to and when I can go to them. I know now more than ever that I need to do that.

So what can anyone do to help someone who is going through something like this? 
Pray, ask questions, spend time, listen, listen, listen. 

I think I am coming to some sort of pinnacle with all of this. I didn’t want to name it for the past year, I didn’t want to admit that I needed help, I didn’t want to admit that I couldn’t make myself feel better and now this is me, being honest and reaching out, because I need that.


The reason I share all this? 

Because maybe then someone new who is reading this won’t feel so alone. Maybe so then someone you know who is sad, you can see a way you might help? Mostly because this is my blog, this a way to record my journey. A journey that I presume will lead to hope and betterment again, but the pain and struggle are a part of me right now, and I would only be a liar if I didn’t share it all.

Please be patient with me if you are waiting on design or emails, I am trying to stay on top of things as much as possible.
Thank you for all being so great!!

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28 Thank you for your thoughts:

Michelle @ Loving Every Second said...

What a great post. It's nice to hear that someone goes through some of the same things I go through. And good for you for being brave enough to post about it!

I am a HUGE advocate of going to a therapist. My husband started going to counseling a year or two ago and it has made such a huge difference with the things he was dealing with. So good luck! I hope it helps!

Anonymous said...

I don't know you but, I am so very proud of you for sharing your experience. I know all to well what being in the depths of depression feels like and it is very painful. All of your suggestions on what you can do are very good. So glad that you are talking about it and sharing, not only will it help others know they are not alone, but it will help you on your journey of recovery.

Madison
My Meddling Mind

Nicole @ Miss Mommy said...

Ashley - I feel and have felt every.single.thing as you.
Read this post of mine all about my depression:
http://www.miss-mommy.com/2011/06/my-secret.html

Erica @ Acire Adventures said...

That most certainly is what depression (maybe with some anxiety) feels like. I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety 7 years ago and am happy to say that it has been a good 4 years since I would have considered that label applicable to me. Sometimes there are deep issues behind depression and other times it is more of a chemical thing that doesn't seem to have a real cause. Either way, just take each day as it comes and try to smile when you can. It will slowly improve.

Hopefully you will find a good therapist who can help, whether you truly need to discuss and resolve issues, or if antidepressants are the solution. Based on my experience with therapy, I would say go with your gut. Everybody is different and not every therapist will be helpful to you, while others will be absolutely amazing. So if something isn't working for you, make the changes you feel are necessary because it's your happiness on the line and it is SO IMPORTANT.

Best of luck!

Jamie said...

You may know this (I'm not shy about it) but I have serious bouts of depression. So many women do. Everything you say is familiar. Unfortunately so very familiar.

Just try to keep laughing and loving. And remember you already know what it feels like to be depressed and you already know what makes it worse and what makes it better. No wave of it is new. You have everything you need to make it through the hardest parts.

Colleen said...

Be strong. I get edgy sometimes like that, and I have little patience sometimes when it feels like I need the most. It makes you feel like you will never feel better. But you will. :)

Liberty said...

Your statement,"I’m lost: I know who I used to be, but I lost her and in her place is some girl/woman who I do not like at all," sums up my life/feelings with frightening accuracy! And I wonder, "How did I get here?" Geez... I'm glad you are are in the process of finding someone to listen and help. I'm still keeping you in my heart. <3

Kristin said...

I love the blogging community. i'm pretty new to it, at it for less than a year. But there is just something I love so much about the way we can share, be open and honest, and support one another. Know that you are being prayed for :)

Kristin
http://buttonspockets.blogspot.com

aStarToSteerHerBy said...

Thank you for posting! Thank you for being brave and sharing! There is a huge stigma out there with mental illness, despite the fact that so many of us suffer from it!

Oh, and therapists are a huge help--if only just for the extra listening ears!

Shelly said...

If your doctor recommends medication, take it. I forever resisted the meds for silly reasons one of them being embarrassment. But then someone said to me "If you had high blood pressure would you take the meds?" I said "Of course" They said it is the same thing. I really believe the meds have saved me. I have anxiety more than depression but some days it was a huge struggle just to get out of bed,and it was physical, not mental, but caused by anxiety just the same. Good luck with this adventure, it isn't fun but it will make you even stronger.

Momma Button said...

I totally agree with Shelly. If you need the meds, take them. I tried to go off mine and it was a disaster. I liken my depression to drowning while everyone just watches....and no body will throw you a rope. I get angry and push people away so that I don't have to deal with anything. Two things that I have found that help, besides the meds, are sunshine and exercise. My depression worsens during the dark months, so I make sure that I eat breakfast in a sunny spot. And I try to walk or take a class that gets my heart pumping. I swear it helps. Good luck with your doctor, be totally honest with him/her and remember to take care of yourself. I'll be cheering you on from here!!

Kristyn Grace said...

I really hope that you can find a therapist that helps you. I had been suffering for years before realizing what I was suffering from. I was lucky to find a great therapist on the first try but when I was forced to find another, I had to try a few different ones before one worked for me. But, I can tell you that you are so far ahead of a lot of people who suffer from depression because you can identify the things you listed above. I remember feeling the same frustration that I couldn't just talk myself out of it or make myself feel better. I thought everyone felt like that and it was normal - until I realized that it was not. I hope you find something that works for you to help you feel better and I hope you know that you are not alone!

The Wild Optimist said...

Awesome post. I hope you have an easy night and day :)

Shari@Rain into Rainbows said...

Hugs, sweetie... I'm here & listening if you need an ear.

I'm pretty open about my PTSD and resulting depression that stems from my injury. Here is one of my recent posts about it - http://rainintorainbows.com/2011/09/01/when-sadness-takes-over/

As far as I'm concerned, it takes a strong, strong person to let it all out like you did. I love the fact that you're willing to, just so that you can help someone else.

Hugs....

Heather Hawthorne said...

First time to your blog. I can immediately see you are a real person. Thank you for sharing. I went through the same thing during my second pregnancy. It was so unlike me and so strange, but very real. They called it pregnancy induced depression.

What helped me was an amazing supportive husband and family... prayer.. getting into the Word and limiting my commitments to the few that mean the most. Make time for yourself to get back to yourself.

I'm now a follower...

♥,
A Mom Without Facebook

www.amomwithoutfacebook.blogspot.com

Lisa Ray said...

This is the first time reading your blog and wow...I could have written that myself, word for word! Keep reaching out to those around you and use the resources that are in front of you. Someday it's the hardest thing to do but when the day comes that you can look back and say I'm not in that place anymore and your child looks at you and says you're the best mommy ever, you will know all the difficult steps were worth it. I will continue to read your blog and pray for you. Thanks for being brave and sharing.

Sarah said...

Hey sweet girl! I'm so sorry to read that you are having to go through this! I have struggled with anxiety most of my teenage and adult life...not quite the same but not very much different, either! We are all just people. I know that it doesn't feel like it but more people are haunted by this stuff then you think. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! (and you will figure this out!) This writing shows just how strong you are. HUGS!

Salena @ A Little Piece of Me said...

Ashley, Everything you wrote here is how I feel most days. I love that you wrote this. Your detailed words help me to have a better understanding of myself. You have put into words what I could not. I am here and will be along side you on your journey. I look forward to hearing your progress to healing. Big HUGS to you.

Emily said...

I think your very brave for sharing all of this with us. Good luck! And thank you for being willing to share something that's so hard for you.

Janell said...

I think its so great that you are sharing this.. Its so brave for you to put it all out there for the world. You are stronger than you know for being able to do so. Hang in there, girl. The first step is realizing that there is a problem. You can only go up from here. :)

Kassandra @ Coffee and their Kisses said...

I feel like I just read my own story. I battle with depression. I usually take meds for them. In the last 6 months, I just couldn't afford to get them. So I've been feeling like this. I finally decided to find a way to get my meds, and luckily I have some help doing so. I really hope you find a good doctor. I have both depression and anxiety, so I usually can't sleep because of the anxiety. I wish I had some more words of wisdom, but I don't. I can give you some hope though. Once you get the meds into your system, you will start to feel better and be yourself again. I'm here if you ever need a friend.

kristina said...

this post just nailed me right on the head. you're definitely not alone! we love you!!

Kirstin Joy said...

I care about you. I am listening now.

alicia said...

You are not alone. So many people deal with this at one time or another and never talk about it. I have struggled for years, mostly seasonally, and can relate to so much of what you speak of. Hang in there girl. *hugs*

Natalie said...

Oh, Ashley! How did I miss your previous post!?! :( You are SOOOO not alone! I've suffered from it for YEARS...and finally got the help I needed when I attempted suicide (not a fun place...) You'd never know I was that person now! Happy Pills and therapists do help. So does chocolate...I swear. And, I've found that when I'm about to have a "crazy moment" where all of my emotions are jumbled and I am about to lose it that if give myself a time out, sit down at the computer and just type EVERYTHING I'm feeling and try to sort it all out it helps a lot. I have my own secret "personal" document folder where I save all of my feelings. Sometimes it helps to take those to the therapist, too because everything is written out so clearly. I am SOOO here if you need to talk. I mean, I know a gazillion other people are, too. But...I'm also in Colorado so I get first dibs. ;) ((HUGS!)) Love ya!

Natalie said...

Oh my gosh, that was long. I'm sorry! :)

Liesl said...

I am just now catching up on your blog and I have to tell you how wonderful you are and just how much inspiration you offer to so many through your honesty and openness and the recording of your journey! Sending extra love, hugs and smiles your way!!!

Liesl :)

AbsoluteMommy said...

I just found your blog... Sharing your journey is so brave, and so hard at the same time. I'd like to share a link with you about my own journey.
http://absolutemommy.blogspot.com/2011/04/big-girls-dont-cry.html
I read your newest post from today, and it looks like you are on a new journey of healing. You are fabulous... You can do this... You will do this...
Happy Thursday (almost Friday!),
Megan

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